Welcome to the 63rd edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal, the official newsletter of the perennially virid online writing magazine, The New Leaf Journal. Like all prior editions of this humble newsletter, the content comes to you from the keyboard of the editor and administrator of The New Leaf Journal, Nicholas A. Ferrell.
Today’s newsletter is the final edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal of 2021. I decided to take Christmas weekend off from newsletters. For this reason, you can expect to find a large 64th edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal in your inbox or RSS feed (provided that you are a subscriber) on January 1, 2022.
The last newsletter of 2021 has all the bells and whistles newsletter readers have become accustomed to: reviews of the week that was at The New Leaf Journaland around the web, our most-read content, and some parting (for this year, at least) news updates for the project.
I was a bit encumbered the past week by deadlines related to my day-job and non-New Leaf Journal projects. Despite this tremendous adversity (I joke), I produced five articles for your reading enjoyment. The articles are all on the short-side, but they cover a customarily wide range of topics.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. December 12, 2021.
What do Snoopy, elves, ice-fishing penguins, unicorns with butterfly wings, and R2-D2 have in common? Not much other than sharing a front lawn in Gowanus as part of a proverbial Christmas menagerie.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. December 13, 2021.
The New Leaf Journal’s resident fictional dialogue duo, Justin and Justina, came across a free chalkboard built into a toy easel. What would they do with it? Whose home would it end up in? Read on to find out. The article was inspired by a photo I took in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. December 15, 2021.
An 1878 Scientific American piece about a garden sprinkler for spraying insecticide on plants reminded me of one of my favorite 2020 pieces at The New Leaf Journal about “the-man-with-the-hose.” In this new article, I call back to my 2020 piece and also discuss the Hodel & Stauber’s Garden Sprinkler (with the original etching from Scientific American).
Nicholas A. Ferrell. December 16, 2021.
The brief story of how my attempt to purchase health insurance was complicated by my effective host-level ad-blocker.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. December 18, 2021.
You will be shocked to find that it led by example by NOT standing.
While I did manage to publish five articles, they were relatively short pieces. Thus, you may be left looking for more things to read. Trusting that you have read our entire archive of more than 400 articles, I have a list of six suggestions external to this humble magazine.
XMPP Editors. December 5, 2021.
XMPP is a protocol that is used primarily for instant messaging. Each month, XMPP.org publishes a newsletter. The December newsletter has quite a bit of interesting content - including a certain article that New Leaf Journal readers may be familiar with.
Ben Blanchet. December 18, 2021.
“Sunjay Shrestha, 18, hosts what he calls “subway ragers,” flash-mob type parties in which his teen fans pack subway cars, jumping and screaming as Shrestha raps a playlist of songs into a wireless mic.”
If I was on a subway car minding my own business and this abomination arrived, my only thought would be “life without parole.”
I am once again calling for banning TikTok.
Jack Morphet and David Meyer. December 15, 2021.
It was such a good week for stories related to New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority that I had to double up for this edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal.
(I support the blow-up doll for the position of MTA Chairman.)
Steve Stecklow and Jeffrey Dastin. December 18, 2021.
“An internal 2018 Amazon briefing document that describes the company’s China business lays out a number of “Core Issues” the Seattle-based giant has faced in the country. Among them: ‘Ideological control and propaganda is the core of the toolkit for the communist party to achieve and maintain its success,’ the document notes. ‘We are not making judgement on whether it is right or wrong.’“
Amazon, which is not at all shy about judging Americans, is silent on the question of whether the “ideological control and propaganda” of the Chinese Communist Party is right or wrong.
The article contains interesting details about how Amazon has placated the Chinese Communist Party in order to expand its business in China.
Liam Dawe. December 14, 2021.
GB Studio allows people to make Game Boy games (playable on computers and Game Boy cartridges). This news may be relevant to some 2022 New Leaf Journal projects.
Oona McGee. December 16, 2021.
“Our Japanese-language reporter Ninoude Punico recently stumbled upon one of these machines at the Sogo department store in Yokohama, and what caught her by surprise was the fact that it wasn’t just doling out hot sweet potatoes, but cold ones too.”
What could I possibly add?
Let’s visit our archive for one last time in 2021…
Nicholas A. Ferrell. December 24, 2021.
A humorous dialogue for everyone struggling with that person who refuses to disclose what he or she wants for Christmas. In addition to the Justin and Justina banter, you will find several 2020 Christmas photos from around Brooklyn.
In each edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal, I review the most visited articles since the previous newsletter. The statistics come from our privacy-friendly local analytics solution, Koko Analytics. The rankings cover the period beginning with Saturday and ending with the next Friday. The previous week was the 50th Newsletter Week of 2021. Below you will find our most-visited articles of the week along with additional information about each article.
“The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei“
Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 14, 2021.
Last Week: 1. Weeks in Top Five: 34 (23 in first).
“Installing Ubuntu Touch on an Asus Nexus 7 (2013)“
Nicholas A. Ferrell. July 5, 2021.
Last Week: 3. Weeks in Top Five: 18.
“The Last Stand of Constantine XI“
Nicholas A. Ferrell. May 30, 2020.
Last Week: 2. Weeks in Top Five: 20.
“How to Find Substack RSS Feeds and Other Notes“
Nicholas A. Ferrell. June 19, 2021.
Last Week: 4. Weeks in Top Five: 18.
“An Early Review of Pixelfed - Instagram Alternative“
Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 13, 2020.
Last Week: 7. Weeks in Top Five: 25 (2 in first).
The top four articles from last week returned to the ranking. My Tsuki ga Kirei article had its weakest week in a while, but it still remained comfortably atop the ranking for the 15th week in a row. The May 2020 article on the last stand of Constantine XI has had a notably strong December, and is currently on pace for its first top-three monthly finish of 2021. My Pixelfed review, which dominated the December 2020 ranking, returned to the top five for the first time since Newsletter Week 44.
Because there will be no newsletter on December 25/26, I will publish the Newsletter Week 51 ranking in my January 1 newsletter, along with Newsletter Week 52.
New Years conveniently falls on a Saturday this year, January 1 will be incorporated into the first Newsletter Week ranking of 2022 (Jan 1-6, 2022).
Since this is the final newsletter of 2021, I will cover some things that New Leaf Journal readers have to look forward to in the last two weeks of the year.
I plan to publish several reviews, articles based on my photos, and Christmas content to bring 2021 to a close. One notable piece that I have planned is a special Christmas-themed Justin and Justina dialogue, likely coming on December 23 or 24. I am also planning to review the year that was in anime - a piece already in progress.
On January 1, 2022, I will publish a full recap of the year that was in 2021 - much like I did last year. My newsletter on the same day will recap our newsletter week ranking statistics from 2021 and look ahead to 2022.
Regarding The New Leaf Journal itself, there will be no significant changes to the site for what is left of 2021. However, I anticipate having some announcements to make regarding improvements to the site in the first half of 2022.
This concludes the last newsletter of what was a year of tremendous growth for both The Newsletter Leaf Journal and The New Leaf Journal. Although we will have no newsletter next week, you can expect to find our usual slate of new content at The New Leaf Journal over the next two weeks. If you are already a subscriber, I thank you for subscribing to and following The Newsletter Leaf Journal. If you are not yet a subscriber, I encourage you to consider signing up via email or RSS if you enjoy the weekly content.
I wish all Newsletter Leaf Journal readers a very merry Christmas, and I look forward to sending the next newsletter on January 1, 2022.
Until 2022 - cura ut valeas.